Naming and Physicalizing Your Critical Voice. Who Is That Creature Anyway? | Part 2

by Mark Epp

October 11, 2021Blog

Series Part: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

This morning, I tripped up a little over something I had left on the floor. I said to myself, “That was stupid!” Was it really? Or was it totally natural, something anyone might have done?  

I’ve heard that voice, “That was stupid,” time and time again since becoming aware of it and have made a conscious effort to shift that thought toward something more constructive.  

Often unconscious, our critical voice is an emotionally charged prompt that says “stop, you’re not smart enough, you’re too old, you’re too young, you don’t have a degree.”  

That voice is often a manifestation of the fear we have toward making our dreams come true – taking one step forward. We often reverse course and call it quits before even getting started. Our critical voice is repeatedly a barricade to achievement. 

When your critical voice shows up for you, it may be disguised as “be cautious,” “that’s doubtful,”or “I’m worried about doing that.” It can also feel like it’s protecting you from something. 

But is it really true, or have you told yourself that so many times that it has become how you define yourself to yourself, and often, how you define yourself to others? 

The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) suggests physicalizing your critical voice. Call it your Gremlin, that little troll that sits on your shoulder and whispers those nasty comments sucking away at your confidence. After years of listening to those thoughts, they have become the person you think you are. 

“It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you’re not.” ~Denis Waitley 

Yes, we’re probably going to have to live with that Gremlin in one way or another for the rest of our lives. Once aware of it, though, we can recognize it for what it is — negativity — and say back to ourselves, “That wasn’t stupid at all. In fact, I’m smart, confident and successful.”   

So, what does your Gremlin look like? Mine looks like this Star Wars bobble-head one of my coaching clients sent me after we worked on this concept together. When I notice that Gremlin showing up, I picture that little troll and say back to myself, “It’s my turn now to do what I want, to do and be what I choose to be.”  

If you have the courage to acknowledge your fears, you will be taking the first step toward controlling those fears instead of them controlling you. 

Start acknowledging your Gremlin and tell it where to go! “Go to hades troll, it’s my turn today and I choose to be the person I know I can be.” 

Next topic – Challenging Interpretations – You don’t care, or you would have responded.

Until then, to your good health and continued successes, Mark 

Series Part: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4


Mark is the Management Consultant Director at Talent Plus where he aligns The Science of Potentiality ® to each client’s unique needs and support their growth. He brings potential to life through the practical application of our science and enables employees to prosper and organizations to succeed.

“There is nothing more satisfying than witnessing the exponential growth of an employee when they discover and express their talent.”

Talents: Ego Drive, Focus, Individualized Approach, Persuasion, Relationship